Florida has somehow become an even more lethal place to live for queer and trans Americans, thanks to the passage of two new bills.
The first, SB 1342, stipulates that sexual child abuse and acts of pedophilia may be punishable by the death penalty. The second bill would make it easier for a jury to send the accused to the gallows. According to Reuters, the bill “allows juries to recommend the death penalty in capital cases on an 8-4 vote” instead of a unanimous vote.
Now what does this have to do with queer people? If you’ve been paying attention to what’s been going on in Florida this year, you’ll know that Ron DeSantis is trying his best to have queer and trans citizens as well as their allies labeled as child abusers for simply helping trans kids get access to gender-affirming healthcare. And now, in Missouri, the nation’s first ban on trans healthcare for adults has passed.
Naturally, the idea that conservatives could be well within their legal right to label queer people “pedophiles” and then advance a death penalty sentence has queer and trans Americans worried for the safety of those stuck in the Sunshine State.
While the second bill is being framed as a response to the Parkland shooter’s actions, the timing seems just a bit suspicious.
Trans and queer Floridians are fearing for their lives right now.
And for those calling it a “crazy leap” to equate this with trans genocide, let’s just see how many Republicans, clergymen, and actual child abusers are actually targeted by these bills.